DU PLESSIS-BOCHART, CHARLES, naval officer, lieutenant of Émery de Caën, head clerk of the Compagnie des Cent-Associés; known in Canada between 1633 and 1636.
It has been hinted, although no real proof has been advanced, that Du Plessis-Bochart was related to Cardinal Richelieu and the Duchesse d’Aiguillon; that is not impossible. However that may be, the protection given by these two personages is apparent in Du Plessis-Bochart’s work in New France. He proved worthy of it, for he displayed unflagging activity in the service of the Cent-Associés.
The treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye having restored Canada to France on 29 March 1632, Émery de Caën was deputed to go and retake possession of it with his lieutenant, the Sieur Du Plessis-Bochart. The fort of Quebec was officially handed over to them on 13 July. On 22 May 1633, as Champlain was back at Quebec, Émery de Caën entrusted the keys of the fort to Du Plessis-Bochart, who handed them over to Champlain the next day, “according to the cardinal’s decree.” In the autumn of the same year Du Plessis-Bochart received the order to take the fur-trading vessels back to France. He returned the following spring in command of four ships, one of which brought Robert Giffard, his family, and his party of emigrants.
Bochart served as a constant link between France and her colony, and carried out his mission zealously and intelligently. He made efforts to familiarize himself with the Indian mentality and its propensities, he convoked various tribes, and tried to make them settle. He founded a fur-trading post at Tadoussac and actively assisted Champlain, who wanted to strengthen the strategic fort of Trois-Rivières. His numerous voyages had, however, undermined his health, and he went back to France on 23 Aug. 1636, his name disappearing finally from our history at the period when changes were being made in the governing body of the Cent-Associés. In the command of the fleet he was replaced by M. de Courpont and in the office of head clerk by François Derré de Gand.
In the index of the Jesuit Relations (Thwaites) Charles Du Plessis-Bochart has been confused with Guillaume Guillemot, also called Du Plessis-Kerbodot.